COVID-19: how the oil and gas sector can remain resilient

By Leah Netabai

Business Chief takes a look at the African Energy Chambers', key recommendations for the oil and gas sector amidst economic uncertainty.

As industry and countries around the world go into lockdown following the continuation of COVID-19, economic analysts and energy asset operators are predicting that 2020 will see a negative demand growth for the oil and gas sector globally. With negative economic impact also being forecasted for the electricity, renewable energy, and mining industries. 

As a result companies who control and manage the critical energy infrastructure and natural resource assets, need to maintain vigilance against physical, cyber, and technical security threats as they deal with these colliding events.

This resilience is essential to the economy, security and overall quality of life for all citizens in Africa and worldwide. 

“Indications and warnings are illuminating the fact that terrorists, hostile state actors, criminals, hackers for hire, and vandals are currently planning to take advantage of our current state of chaos,” declared C. Derek Campbell, CEO of US-based Energy & Natural Resource Security Inc (ENRS). 

“We continue to support a lot of energy companies in Africa to mitigate the hostile actions of those with ill-intent. In uncertain times like these, it is companies’ efforts against unexpected threats that ensure that their assets maintain continuity of operations during these trying times,” he added.

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Key recommendations:

  • Assess and review current cybersecurity posture against protocols 

  • Monitor your employees and be aware of the IT methods and platforms used

  • With the help of local staff, engage with communities within a 5 to 10-mile radius to gain an understanding of the atmosphere around your asset

  • Spot check your existing security measures to ensure they are fully functional

  • Request a security assessment during operational downtime to gain an understanding of vulnerabilities and levels of assumed risk

“The African Energy Chamber takes security threats in Africa extremely seriously and such risks should not be downplayed when our industry faces turmoil and price instability,” commented Nj Ayuk, Executive Chairman at the African Energy Chamber. 

“ENRS is a key partner for us and their best-in-class security solutions are what owners, operators, investors and insurers should be implementing to maintain the continuity of their operations and mitigate risk throughout their asset’s operational life cycle.”

For more information on business topics in Africa, please take a look at the latest edition of Business Chief EMEA.

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